Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jesus is Coming Back, Are You Ready?

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
There is a song of several years back the words of the chorus go something like this;
     Jesus is coming soon morning or night or noon,
     Many will meet their doom trumpets will sound.
     All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the skies,
     Going where no one dies heavenward bound.
Oh, you say that you have heard that all of your life? So have I. When I was about 3, my mother backslid and moved to Puyallup Washington. She left my dad in Morton with the intent that he would follow. He never did but rather sued for divorce on the grounds of desertion. When I was about 5 years old there was a tremendous meteor shower. Everyone of our neighbors were standing outdoors oohing and awing at the wonderful heavenly show. My maternal grandmother was visiting us at the time. While all the neighbors were looking up at the "shooting stars," I was frightened and began to cry. My grandmother came over to me, knelt down and asked, "Johnny, why are you crying?" I remember telling her that I was afraid because the stars were falling. I shall never forget her comforting words to me that night. She told me not to cry as it was just a sign in heaven that Jesus was going to return to take His people home. I could wish that from that day I lived for the hope of Jesus' return. It was not the case. As I grew up, we never attended church. Some of my earliest memories are being fascinated by the sun shining through the haze of the curling cigarette smoke in our living room. It was not until I was 23 years old that I finally gave my heart and life to the Lord Jesus and really began to hear of His soon return.

It has been going on 49 years since I was first converted and I have been looking for the return of Jesus Christ from that day to this. The Bible says in Acts 1:9-11, "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." This was perhaps the first time the apostles understood what the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 24:42-44, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (See also Luke 20:40). In such an hour as you think not? The Bible says in Hebrews 10:35-37, "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." When Jesus returns, He will not wait for you to get ready. He will simply come back.

My friend the Bible says in 2nd Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." God does not desire the destruction of sinners. God asked Israel in  Ezekiel 33:11, "...As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Turning from your wicked ways to God's righteous ways is not optional. It is God's command. (See Acts 17:30) The Apostle Peter went on in 2nd Peter 3:10 and said, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." It will happen! The Bible says in  2nd Thessalonians 1:7b-9, "...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power..."

Jesus is coming back, are you ready? John wrote in Revelation 22:10-11, "And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." The Lord then said in  Revelation 22:12, "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." There will be no time to repent on that great day. Then in the next to the last verse of the Bible, Revelation 22:20, a final word to the wise, "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

Oh, by the way, there is another old song we used to sing, the chorus which goes like this;
     He's coming soon, He's coming soon,
     With joy we welcome His returning.
     It may be morn, it may be night or noon,
     We know He's coming soon.

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